Sally Morgan challenged to prove her psychic powers on Halloween

The UK’s currently famous (or infamous) psychic has been given a challenge … basically “Prove it”.

She has recently been in the news, because during a show in Dublin fans say they heard a man’s voice giving what sounded like prompts to her. She replied with a statement, “All my life I have run the gauntlet of cynic and sceptics, many are genuine people that are intrigued or unsure but there are also people that point blank would never allow themselves to understand what I do.”

Need I point out that these were not sceptics, but rather were her own fans who heard the chap behind them quietly feeding information to her. Anyway, my intent is not to go into this now. If curious, you can read all about it here.

The news now is that Sally, who claims to talk to the dead and makes a lot of money doing so, has now been challenged. The Guardian report explains …

The Halloween challenge is backed by the US paranormal investigator James Randi, and qualifies as the first step towards claiming a million-dollar prize established by the James Randi Educational Foundation for any psychic who can prove their “gift” to be real.

Morgan, whose website offers psychic readings over premium rate phone lines, has written three books and is filming the third series of Psychic Sally on the Road for Sky LIVING.

Now one key point here … to date, there is zero evidence that anybody can talk to the dead, nobody has ever provided proof, so all she is doing is conning grieving folks by offering them false hope. When challenged, she denies all trickery and claims it is all real …

Sceptic groups, led by the science writer Simon Singh, arranged the test after one of Morgan’s shows in Dublin last month at which some members of the audience reported hearing someone at the back of the theatre apparently feeding her information on stage.

Morgan, who claims to have seen her first ghost at the age of four, has strongly denied any fakery and blamed the voices on chattering technicians at the venue. The theatre supported this account in a separate statement.

TV illusionist Derren Brown also comments and gives the proposed test a positive spin …

“It’s important people don’t think that a test is a way of debunking or disproving. It’s a great way of anyone making amazing claims to show that they hold up and are not just a result of trickery or self-deception. The test should be both scientifically rigorous and yet fair to the psychic: it would show, if the psychic is successful, that what he or she does is real.

Such tests are important because it’s too easy for a person to fool others (or themselves) into thinking he or she has special abilities. If someone is going to put you in touch with your dead child you’d want to know if they were real, deluded or a scam artist.”

So who has issued the challenge?

Professor Chris French, head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at Goldsmith’s, University of London. He will design and conduct the experiment, which, if Morgan attends, will be hosted by the Merseyside Skeptics Society in Liverpool.

How will she be tested (assuming she turns up)?

Part of her act is to allow folks who attend her shows to hand in pictures of the departed. She then selects some and claims to make contact with the departed. This can be turned into a test; just show her pictures of ten deceased women and ask her to match each to an entry on a list of their first names, by connecting with their spirits. To pass, all she needs to do is to match seven or more names to the right photographs. If she really can do this, then it should be easy, right?

What Next?

The Guardian attempted to contact her for a comment on all this, both directly and via her lawyers … so far no reply, just a stunning silence, and thats not a surprise at all.

If she was real, it would be an amazing opportunity because to date no real proof that anybody is able to communicate with the dead exists, so she would be the first, and that would make her famous and rich … well OK, more famous and a lot richer.

However, it will not be. Past experience is an indicator of future behavior, so without deploying any psychic powers, I can no predict that she will duck the test either with more silence, or with some excuse. She is a fake, and she knows it.

Many vulnerable, grieving and desperate people turn to Sally for support and advice. Until she can show her readings are genuine, it is highly immoral for her to manipulate vulnerable people and lead them to believe she’s really talking to the dead.

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